SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Last week’s snowfall has led to plenty of fender benders and damaged vehicles all over southeastern KELOLAND.

Ice and snow leading to a longer list of damaged vehicles is nothing new for repair shops.

“A lot more accidents, people going in the ditch,” Pierre’s Body Shop General Manager Tyler Van Heerde said.

During past winters, the repair process was fairly straightforward for customers and service centers.

“You would have been able to drive right in, we would have gotten you a quote that day, been able to handle and schedule with insurance in the first couple of weeks and go to work,” Van Heerde said.

But now the process is dramatically delayed, with many people waiting up to two weeks just to get an initial estimate on damages, and facing an even longer wait list for repairs.

“Never for collisions have we been three months out to schedule a repair,” Van Heerde said.

Pierre’s Body Shop says since the derecho hit Sioux Falls last May, every auto repair shop in town has had a similar wait.

“Once you hit a backlog of two to three months, it’s very hard to get back on top of that, keep that backlog of a month. There was a while there in the summer where it seemed like every week we were scheduling two weeks worth of work,” Van Heerde said.

He says the backlog at their shop is not even due to a lack of staff, Pierre’s Body Shop is actually fully staffed right now, their shop is just at capacity.

“They are handling the full amount of work that we can. We’ve dialed it in so much that I don’t think we could get one more car in and one more car out within a week’s span to get done,” Van Heerde said.

He thinks part of the problem is the city’s population has grown while the number of repair shops hasn’t. But in 65 years of business, Pierre’s Body Shop has never seen a backlog quite like this.

“It’s been a really big learning curve. We’ve had to relearn how to do business,” Van Heerde said. “If this is the new normal, we have to figure out how we can maintain that.”

The months-long wait for repairs is also leading to issues with rental car coverage, which is often limited to 30 days. It’s why many vehicles with minor damage may continue driving until they’re able to get into the shop for repairs.

“That’s a lot of the battle that we fight right now, how do you take certain cars that are drivable, make sure that they’re safely drivable, keep them on the road for those repairs,” Van Heerde said.